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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Detroit gets a light rail line

[VIDEO] If I were to pay a visit to the great American city of Detroit - a place I visited in 2009 - I would find a light rail line.

Detroit is a city that at it's peak had over a million people has fallen on hard times and now is somewhere around have a million people. That city had significantly depopulated over the last 40 or so years.

It's a city that needs some good news, perhaps this light rail line is it, however, is it viable. Investment in public transit is never a bad thing, but it can be if it receives little use by the community it serves. And if a public transit line such as this Q-Line isn't used by the community then there can be little growth from it.

Either way, I wish I could get up there to ride those rails for free. It's only free through July 1st. When the system starts collecting fares how much will people support it.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saw the Tupac movie recently

Over at E.M. I wrote a post about seeing All Eyez on Me this past Friday. Many gangsta rap/Tupac fans were eagerly anticipation this biopic of Tupac Shakur who died so young in September 1996.

In that post at E.M. I start off by saying it's rare a negative post is written about a movie. Most of the time when going to the show it's about entertainment and you just go up find a movie to see and there's nothing groundbreaking about the movie. Instead you watch be entertained and then you just forget about it. It's not often you watch a movie that is entirely memorable.

I could compare this film with the hit movie from two years ago Straight Out of Compton. I'm not sure the Tupac film could even compare even if an important character included the infamous gangsta rap producer Suge Knight.

To be sure, though this film has brought back so many memories of the 1990s music scene. The young people are listening to vastly different music and some of it has very little meaning. Tupac at least started off with a message especially in providing a voice to the voiceless.

Here's hoping Tupac's story inspires someone, especially a young person to take up his mantle. Provide a voice for the voiceless through a variety of mediums whether social media or with art such as music, painting, sculpture, or writing.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Interim president of Morehouse College has died

What an interesting time down there at Morehouse College. Earlier this year there had been a dispute between the college president Silvanus Wilson and college board of trustees Chairman John Davidson. Dispute was so bad both men ultimately resigned shortly before commencement season. I covered as much as I could over at Electric Moleskine especially the development where Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee, and Jeh Johnson - all prominent Morehouse graduates - starting making their own statements hoping to quell the dispute.

As of course Morehouse is undergoing a new Presidential search, their interim President died of an aneuryism today.

Below I share some social media posts which includes official statements from Morehouse College.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Utilizing the platforms on the world wide web

Often on this blog I talk about the internet as it once was. Instead of blogs and social media sites people used to have their own personal web pages usually via their internet service providers. Many dialed onto the web with a dial-up modem using a phone line. There wasn't as many bells and whistles online back in say the late 1990s.

I vaguely remember this because for a brief time until my mother abruptly cut off our internet service after almost six months - she likely didn't see the point for herself at least and claimed it was starting to cost too much. As for that last part well I was taking to the internet more than she expected and just made the decision to cut it off and was in no rush during that ensuing period to bring it back.

Either way back in the 1990s where was no Facebook, Google was probably in its infancy, no Twitter, no Instagram, Blogger was likely also in its infancy. Basically if you wanted to connect with people you literally had to create your own platform  and there weren't many places back then that would provide one for you!

Blogger I now know was started in 1998. It was likely around when I attended a community college in downtown Chicago and had no idea about it although I spent a lot of time surfing the internet at school. During this period my interest was in creating this platform to connect with others or at least sharing information just had little idea or inclination to do the necessary work.

Anyway I only became aware of Blogger after perusing the forums over at ProtestWarrior. A blog was the perfect medium for me to share information of course the next step was readers which PW provided at the time. Then of course when Capitol Fax was beginning to grow by 2005 or so that would be more exposure.

Now in the 2nd decade of the 21st century a website isn't that important anymore. Social media is king today and the most popular sites to use is facebook, instagram, twitter, and YouTube. And in addition to websites or blogs we can use social media to supplement websites or blogs.

As of now this is my current challenge. If I wanted this blog or other blogs I created to be successful it hinges on utilizing those other platforms that exist today. Perhaps create a useful YouTube channel. Perhaps create an interesting ig account as I have for sixthward.us. Then effectively using twitter - both personal & sixthward.us to supplement the blog platforms.

I see now that utilization of various platforms can truly be beneficial, the question now is how to effectively utilize them.

Monday, May 22, 2017

What about these DNC leaks?

[VIDEO] The above clip aired on FOX News earlier this month. It's very funny how we're still talking about the election. A huge swath of this nation - including Hillary Clinton herself - are still wondering how they lost the Presidency it was supposed to be a sure thing.

In light of the 2016 presidential results we hear a lot about interference by Russian hackers and now a wrinkle to this theory. A young DNC staffer who had been murdered may have leaked information from the DNC to wikileaks.

I first hear about this last week and posted a quick blurb at E.M. and then wondered: why would someone inside the Democratic Party undermine their party and their nominee for President?

Unfortunately we'll never know the answer to that as Seth Rich was murdered outside of his home in Washington, DC. There are some people are there who claimed they have contact with him before his death and was likely who he sent the information to. And hopefully they'll know why he leaked this information.

One conclusion everyone has come to if they believe this story...the Russians didn't provide this information regarding Mrs. Clinton's e-mails as our former Secretary of State or e-mails from the leadership of the Democratic Party. It was more of an internal operation no foreign influence at all!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 in the DC Extended Universe

Next month the next film from the DC Comics' Extended Universe will be released - Wonder Woman - starring Gal Gadot. Gal Gadot's rendition of this comic book heroine debuted in 2016's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. You will see a trailer for it below. [VIDEO]


As of now we are three movies into the DC Extended Universe and all of them have made money. Problem is all of them aren't exactly critically acclaimed. Batman v. Superman which is the second installment of this franchise seemed to have gotten the worst treatment from fans.

Personally it was a great Batman movie and surprisingly Ben Affleck did a great job portraying the caped crusader even if the story was lacking. Batman v. Superman is actually supposed to be a sequel to Man of Steel - the first installment of this franchise - however this story never seemed to be about Superman. If nothing else it was a response to Superman's arrival, debut on Earth, and essentially after fighting General Zod - a fellow Kryptonian - Batman's response to the man of steel.

Man of Steel wasn't bad itself that film too lacked in story, however, at least it was about the origin of Superman. Metropolis took a serious beating in this film being at the epicenter of an attempt to terraform Earth for the Kryptonians. Regardless the cool part of this movie is that we see how powerful an individual Superman and of course he wasn't always the boy scout we expected him to be. He's still however genuinely good.

The most recently installment was Suicide Squad. Basically a team of supervillians under the employ of the villainous Amanda Waller to be an expendable team of bad guys doing the right thing. In this one Harley Quinn joins the mainstream DC universe - she previously was a character of the Batman animated series from the 1990s. And we have a new Joker even if he wasn't part of the Suicide Squad.

As far as opening weekends the DC movies have done well unfortunately not enough for people to want to watch the movies beyond that. Especially if word of mouth goes around that many believe these movies aren't that good.

I'm hoping that the fourth and fifth installment of the extended universe will learn from the shortcomings of the first three installments. Looking forward to Wonder Woman next month and by the holiday season Justice League for which you will also see a trailer below. [VIDEO]


BTW, I've been watching some YouTube videos speculating on the shortcomings of DC movies in some respects many were spot on. In others I sometimes wonder if they're off-base. What do you all think?

I found one article about the top five things they like about the DC movies.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

VIDEO: The new starship Enterprise design review

[VIDEO] I'm giving you a quick spoiler if you didn't see last year's Star Trek Beyond - the USS Enterprise as we've seen it since 2009s Star Trek had been destroyed. As you see above in the alternate timeline we see another USS Enterprise-A. So as the Star Trek franchise goes into the next 50 - 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the original series having first premiered in 1966 - there is a brand new starship Enterprise casting off in the next cinematic adventure.

In this above video we look at an artists conception of this new Enterprise and then shows what we saw in the STB. Basically a different design than the concept to be honest I hardly noticed, hell I hardly noticed a huge difference when the Enterprise was redesigned at the end of 2013s Star Trek into Darkness. Or admittedly all I noticed was the change in the impulse engines.

Either way this video wonders why they keep changing the basic design of the Enterprise making little tweeks here and there in each of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek film series. It seems to the author of this video gratuitous to make these changes.

Consider that many fans weren't that happy with the redesign of the original Enterprise in 2009, the original 1966 design by Matt Jefferies has never graced the silver screen. To be honest I wanted to see that ship on the silver screen only to see this new take on a TV classic. Whether tweaked or not, this Enterprise maintains the form we expect from Star Trek.

So I'll open the floor to "Trekkies". What do you think of this new Enterprise-A?

Thursday, May 04, 2017

This is not a gun club I want to join...

[VIDEO] This video has done nothing more than inspire me to go to a range in Illinois and take some gun safety lessons. Thus if I ever do a video or photo-op of myself with a gun I will have the satisfaction of know that there is no joking with me and a gun.

 These guys on the other hand well I'm glad that they recognize their constitutional right to bear arms - even if there are those who believe they're only doing this to intimidate. Still it's OK to shoot your guns, but hopefully you record yourself hitting something. Or at least record yourself taking instruction on the use of a firearm.

 And I should note there are those who see that as comedy, I don't. There's nothing amusing about watching people who don't seem to know how to use a gun.

BTW, I feel it's appropriate to share this image found from my old high school - GO FALCONS - a good message for anyone who may be interesting in learning how to shoot a firearm.
While I can focus on shooting a pistol, I'd be very keen on trying an assault rifle for size. Perhaps show my range with a variety of firearms.

Via Instapundit

Sunday, April 30, 2017

My review of #TheCircle

[VIDEO] Lately when I go to the movies most of them are just forgettable entertainment. You go in and be entertained, however, later you simply forget about it. There's nothing really groundbreaking about the movie itself or laugh, feel the adrenaline, etc. and then you leave.

That wasn't the case with The Circle. Now with that said I've seen the reception on its Wiki page and saw that so far there aren't many that like the movie so far. I never pay attention to Rotten Tomatoes and see that this film isn't rated highly.

Why does The Circle touch a nerve with me? It shows the scary effects of social media. Our hero Mae starts to work at this tech company which appears to be a cross between Apple and fb. It offers these small cameras that can be placed anywhere and unseen to the eye. And then there appears to be a social network attached to it.

Mae herself becomes a major show on this social network and likely billions log on to see how she's doing. Unfortunately some sad consequences come of it. Her friend Mercer comes to an unfortunate end as the latest online sensation. It seems the friend - Annie -who brought her to that company doesn't want anything to do with her although they seem to have an uneasy relationship as Mae's star begins to rise.

Mercer's strikes an unfortunate nerve. As Mae begins broadcast her life for her company her fans find out about Mercer's past and refer to him as a deer killer although he defends himself by saying he doesn't kill deer. It becomes a point where he as Mae's friend had to cut ties with her because of her new celebrity.

Unfortunately, later the crowd clamors for Mae to find Mercer - after she herself used the Circle to find a wanted fugitive. They do so and of course a comment about him being a deer killer. After keeping a low-profile and he flees. Without giving away much this is the point in the movie where I take off my ballcap. I was truly disgusted with the movie at that point.

To start we see a form of online shaming in this film. Let's say you find one piece of information about someone - whether that person posted themselves or not - and then it goes viral. Then it literally becomes a form of bullying and outright nastiness. Perhaps it's truthful or perhaps not, however, either way someone believes it and spreads it and for a moment it's like wildflower. Scary thing is, it might be a while before you find out about it.

I like how Mae turned the tables on her bosses at the Circle - Eamon & Tom - who egged on the many activities that led to what happened with Mercer. She got connected with one of the founders of the circle - he has a low profile because we doesn't like what's going on at this company - who helped her turn the tables. And we go back to one thing that they never wanted to give up for themselves - privacy.

They didn't truly want to be transparent, but everyone else should be. Mae's life was saved because she took a kayak got thrown about in high waves and almost drowned. Perhaps there is no right to privacy in a public place but how transparent does one need to be in the world. Beside we all should be embarrassed by something.

It lets me know, now that we live in a world with cell phone video cameras and we can broadcast those images live on Periscope, fb, ig, etc. we have to be more careful. Perhaps we might behave better if we're being watched - and yes that's not always true. At the same time at what point have we gone too far with this activity?

BTW, I never realized that this film was based on a book and see a vastly different story here. I got to find that book now and give it a read. Perhaps it'll tell me more about the story and the issues in real life that are shown.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Reparations

[VIDEO] Last week on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson debated a young woman from Western Kentucky University that supported a student resolution to call for free tuition for Black students as a reparation for slavery. I first posted this video with other links regarding this particular story over at E.M. hopefully you'll check them out.

To start honestly my position on this issue isn't particularly clear. In some respects I'm opposed to reparations for the descendants of slaves. In other respects, reparations are a good thing if they prove to be beneficial towards those affected individuals.

On this blog over a decade ago I mentioned that historically Black colleges could be considered a reparation. Many of these schools - Howard, Morehouse & Spelman for example - were founded after the Civil War to educate the newly freed Black population of America. Many of these schools either founded by governments or by white missionaries.

My thing is reparations are OK if Black America could truly benefit from them. Not just a simple check for one person to do with as they please. I mean truly use any reparations to create new opportunities for a very disadvantaged portion of the American population.

Education is an issue for many Black people, I would dare say public education hasn't served many "minority" students very well. Perhaps reparations can create K-12 schools that would truly serve "minority" students and provide the education that are missing from public schools.

Perhaps building wealth and upgrading Black communities. Reparations to build up vacant lots and abandoned buildings. Reparations that would allow people to open up their businesses and hopefully succeed in their ventures.

Another possibility scholarships to get more Blacks into the desired STEM fields. And then why stop at STEM, perhaps encourage Blacks to go into fields where there aren't many of us. Perhaps into business or law or perhaps even go into higher education and pursue terminal degrees.

So many ideas with this, but what concerns me is the fact that the American taxpayer will pay the reparations to people who are no longer around who really deserve them. I'm certainly a few generations behind those individuals who were directly affected by slavery. No one in America today should pay for the sins of a different government over 150 years ago who allowed the owning of other human beings and their abuse.

I often tend to doubt that those who are proponents of reparations want to really benefit the community. Perhaps there are those who only want their cut of any money. At least we can continue to debate this issue and my hope is that the discussion will truly be about upgrading the future of Blacks in America.